Tower of Babel


Read: Genesis 11:1-9

It is so hard to be patient to let the Lord work in his own time. So hard for those of us who would rather just do something anything than just stay in the same place. At least we may think we are in the same place but there is a constant work of the Lord on our hearts even if we cannot see it right away. This is where trust comes in. This is where we place our hope upon hearing the Word of the Father. There is a danger when we step without being a hearer of the word (see James 1:19 and following). In today’s reading we have a very prosperous and prideful people of their accomplishments and dreams. They say, “Let us make a name for ourselves lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” In other words let us build something for unity unless we will be scattered! So is there a problem with that? Isn’t it good to join together and make something? Yes. But the question is, where is the heart?

Here it seems that it is in vain accomplishment alone. Almost as if to say, “Look how great we are and what we can do!” God is not even included in the plan. Not even consulted. God comes down to check to see the work of man for He is pleased when we participate in His work of creation. Sadly He is disappointed. He says, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will be impossible for them.” Isn’t that such the case for a self-determined individual who will succeed in what he does no matter the cost? He makes a very great name for himself and grows rich in the glory of the world and in the fame and popularity of people. But what is that? And at what cost? He finds his work empty and feels disillusioned and alone. Yet think of all the damage he caused to get there from taking from good people who are making a noble and moral cause. This is for one man. Now think of a group of them.

With God only are all things possible. Everything else outside of His dominion is the work of the Evil one. A vain enterprise of desire. Vain desire becomes sin and sin becomes death (See James 1:12 and following). Vanity does not bring life. How great we can become and how powerful if we but wait for God’s hand! There is consequences for stepping outside the line of God’s will and they aren’t generally very good and what you fear to happen that makes you want to make a name for yourself will happen. “Let us confuse their language that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Those plans were frustrated. They did not happen. This great race of people became obliterated and spread to roam the earth. I don’t know about you but I desire to be successful in my pursuits and happy and one with mankind and not have myself utterly destroyed. Does this mean you can’t plan and dream and do something? No. It just means we must seek the Lord and wait for his blessing. He has something so very great worked out for you if you only wait for him. Sometimes we can completely sidestep something and then find that by doing that we missed a very big blessing that God had intended just for you. Wait for the Lord with steadfast courage.

Read: Mark 8:34-9:1

.And so it is. God the Father comes to us. He challenges in the Son to take up the cross deny yourself and follow him. This is so much easier said than done. The smallest sufferings can feel very great and even the littlest sacrifice most painful. And yet here is the key: how you feel. Feelings can be very misleading. It is important to acknowledge what is being felt but it is even more important to take the feeling and offer it to God and in the little discomfort to stand by the will ever in the path before us. What truth do we know in what is currently happening? What part is needless suffering that a simple act can remedy and which part is out of my control for me to embrace and accept freely? These are important questions to ask ourselves. Deny yourself take up your cross and follow me. What does deny mean? It means putting aside the pleasures of the flesh and my wishes and accepting what is handed to me. It means accepting and doing what our Lord asks us to do in each moment. We can have all the accomplishments of the world and still we will be very empty. We will have lost something. So what is the point of all this? We cannot be happy unless we rest in the Lord and take up the cross and follow in the direction He leads by His own cross. The Son of Man took on all of suffering flesh. So how can we, in some small measure, not expect to have trials and tribulations?

Here is the secret. Remembering the promise of the Lord and trusting His faithfulness. So it is if we get too caught up in the feelings then we lose our way completely and find ourselves in very great trouble indeed with no understanding of where we are or what we are to do. We become ashamed of what the Lord said He has promised and it is here that we are challenged. For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation in him the Son of man will also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. Hard saying and yet strangely the only way we can not have this happen is by embracing the Son and his words and following him, taking the scriptures and staying with them, learning the lessons that they teach, and following in word and deed what they have to offer us.


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